Between Malta and Gozo lies the sister island of Comino, a paradise for swimmers, snorkelers, divers, and hikers. The coastline is delineated by limestone cliffs, few sandy beaches, and deep caves and coves. Although Comino is known for the legendary Blue Lagoon with its gorgeous turquoise crystal water, there is much more to do and see on the island. A stroll on the island, a visit to St Mary’s Tower, a swim at the Blue Lagoon, or some leisure time at Crystal Lagoon are among the things to do in Comino.
Facts about Comino Island
1# Comino is Malta and Gozo’s smallest sibling.
2# It’s a 3,5km² small island, 2km long and 1.5km wide.
3# There are three sandy beaches on the island.
4# In Roman times, the island was inhabited by farmers, then abandoned and used as hunting and recreational grounds by the Knights of Malta in later years. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Comino turned into a place of exile for rambling knights.
5# Only 4 people reside on the island while one priest and one policeman commute from Gozo’s island.
6# Comino(Kemmuna) was named after the cumin plant that once grew on the island. Now, Comino is a wildlife sanctuary.
7# The only buildings on the island are the Comino hotel, the Watch Tower, a chapel, the police station, and an abandoned pig farm. Comino Hotel, the only hotel on the island, doesn’t operate anymore since autumn 2019.
8# There are no roads on Comino, although you will spot a few cars.
9# If you wish to spend a few days on Comino, only camping is allowed.
Comino Island – Interactive Map
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How to get to Comino Island
The company provides transportation between Malta and Comino for 13€ round trip.
Departures from Marfa and Cirkewwa, Malta: every half an hour from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Comino’s trip takes 25 minutes, and the return trip 35 minutes as you will stop to see the Comino Caves.
Departures from Comino to Malta: every hour from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and two more at 4 pm and 5 pm.
Find more on their webpage.
Comino Ferry Service
Comino ferry service offers transportation between the islands of Comino and Malta. The ferry service departs every 30 minutes, from 8:00 am to 06:00 pm from Cirkewwa, Malta to Blue Lagoon, Comino.
Find more on their webpage.
Comino Boat Tours
If you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive to Cirkewwa, you can opt for a boat tour. You can find the tour operators along the promenade in Sliema, St. Julian’s, or Bugibba. Or you can find them online.
Usually, you’ll have 3 hours for Blue Lagoon and another 45 minutes swimming either in St. Niklaw Bay or Crystal Lagoon, depending on wind direction. On the way back, you’ll get the chance to snap the caves and contemplate the limestone cliffs along the route.
Luzzu Cruises, a family-run company, offers daily cruises around the island with departures from Sliema, Malta.
What you’ll find on Comino, near Blue Lagoon
# Snack bars serving salads, fried calamari, and fries, all kinds of burgers and wraps, ice cream, fruit salads and drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. And the quality is pretty good. I guess you can find anything you wish for.
# Small shops from where you can buy goggles and water shoes, inflatable pink flamingos, or other types of lifelines, bathing suits, sunscreens, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
# Chairs and umbrellas to rent.
# Music, playing from the food trucks.
# Public toilets and showers.
# Lifeguards on duty from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.
# Lockers, in different sizes, in case you want to store your things.
# Parasailing or Banana boat rides.
# Crowds, since the lagoon does get extremely busy, particularly in summer and on weekends.
Blue Lagoon, Comino’s main attraction, is a gorgeous bay with crystal clear water. It’s the only place where you will find this color and clarity of the water in Malta, so no wonder it became a famous spot. Anyone who loves swimming in crystal clear water, snorkeling, or lazing in the sun should visit the beautiful Blue Lagoon.
In the peak season, from June to September, the bay will be crowding with people. It’s also the place where all the ships coming from Malta or Gozo disembark. The beach is quite small, and finding a proper place to lay down is hard to do, so most visitors will climb and sit on the rocks above the bay.
Blue Lagoon was not what we’ve expected: crowded, music screaming from one of the snack bars. All of that in October, during a pandemic year. We couldn’t resist all that, so after a quick stop here, we swam to Cominotto, came back the same way, and walked around the island to discover all the things to do in Comino.
I visited the island of Comino 15 years ago, and this place was a place of tranquillity, not touched by mass tourism. Apparently, over the years, the spot became so popular and crowded that some might feel disappointed.
Across Blue Lagoon is Cominotto islet, a small stretch of sandy beach. You can swim to Cominotto or take a shuttle service from Blue Lagoon for a small fee. You can lay down in the sun, swim, and relax, or you can climb up the cliffs on the other side of the islet.
Comino Island Walk
If you are not interested in spending the whole time at the beach, the pathways and trails will keep you occupied for the rest of the day. A walk around the island on the main trail is about 7km. You can explore the paths along the cliffs, walk into the island’s interior and discover the abandoned buildings and the St. Mary’s tower. We’ve walked a whole loop and met no one else; thus, it felt like we were alone on a deserted island.
If you’re walking during the summer months, be sure to take plenty of water with you. Besides the snack bars near the Blue Lagoon, there is no other refreshment spot. We’ve walked the island in October, and it was over 35degrees.
If you walk a little bit further South from Blue Lagoon, you will find the Crystal Lagoon, another excellent spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Keep in mind; this is not a proper beach. The lagoon is mostly rocky, and the access to and from the water is hard. But if you manage to climb the rocks, it’s perfect.
You’ll have the chance to see and photograph the lagoon from the water since both the ferries and the private boats stop here on the way back to Malta.
The Abandoned Hospital
On your way to St. Mary’s Tower, you will bump into an abandoned building. Back in the days, the hospital was used for soldiers returning home from the battles. There is not much to do here, and you can’t go inside as some parts of the building are still in use for private purposes.
St. Mary’s Tower
Located in the southern part of the island, the only fortification on Comino island is St. Mary’s Tower. Striking as soon as you approach the island, it is one of the best places to visit in Comino. The tower was built to improve communications between Malta and Gozo during the Knights’ times. It became a prison for spies or minor crime convictions and, years later, an isolation hospital.
St Mary’s tower is located at 80 meters above sea level, and it’s 12 meters tall. Due to the exposition to the winds and sea, the tower has deteriorated. The restoration began in 2002 and lasted two years.
Now the tower is open every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm, from April to October. If you spot the Knight’s flag flying above the tower, you can visit it, free of charge.
Otherwise, you can still go to the tower and admire the views over the island. It will take a 15-minute uphill walk from the disembarkment point in Blue Lagoon.
St. Mary’s Gun Battery
If you follow the road, you can reach the St. Mary’s Gun Battery in no more than 15 minutes. The semi-circular gun platform was designed to protect the channel between Comino and Malta. The Battery went through restorations as well, and it is open all year round.
Chapel of Our Lady’s Return From Egypt
The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1618 and dedicated to the Angel Gabriel’s announcement to the Virgin Mary. The chapel is still in use for the few inhabitants of the island.
St. Mary’s Bay
Just beneath the Chapel, you’ll find another beautiful spot with crystal clear turquoise water. If Blue Lagoon is not your thing and you are looking for something more quiet and remote, head to St. Mary’s Bay.
The walk from the Blue Lagoon or the Battery takes no more than 20 minutes for the 1,5km. The area is secluded, and you’ll definitely have a spot only for you.
St. Mary’s Cave
The beautiful cave is the ideal place for snorkeling and scuba diving. Unfortunately, the cave is not accessible by land, only by water. But if you’re interested in diving, you will find some diving centers in Malta or Gozo, organizing some tours here.
St. Niklaw Bay
The only hotel on the island, Comino Hotel, isn’t operating anymore. It closed its doors in the autumn of 2019, and now the area is deserted. The two small sandy beaches of Niklaw Bay were exclusively accessible to the hotel’s guests. Anyone else could use the premises only or have lunch or a drink at the bar.
Although the area is fenced, you will manage to find a path leading to the sea. So you will have an entire beach completely to yourselves.
Camping Site – Tal Ful
Not far away from St. Niklaw Bay, you can choose to camp at Tal Ful Campsite. Campers need to apply to the Environment Resources Authority (ERA) to be granted permission to pitch their tents on this campsite.
Things to Keep in Mind
1… If you’re going on a hike, make sure you wear walking shoes.
2… It can get hot so bring plenty of water and wear a hat and long leaves.
3… You can’t take your car to Comino but don’t worry; it’s a small place to explore on foot.
4… Arrive at the Blue Lagoon as early as possible if you want to secure a spot near the water.
5… There are toilet facilities only near the Blue Lagoon.
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